Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beef Steak Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Topside steaks, grilled medium rare and sliced thinly, add delicious color and protein to a green dinner salad dressed with orange vinaigrette. Oranges add a fresh touch to any vinaigrette. They go especially well with thinly sliced purple onions to dress your favorite salad greens.

A couple of months back I received an email from a company in Australia that exports organic beef to Dubai. The nice woman on the other end expressed the hope that I would like their beef and tell my readers about it. Now, I have to say, organic isn’t that crucial to me, but after further research, I discovered that OBE Organic Australia’s beef is also grassfed and free range.

I mean genuinely free range with more than a square kilometer a head. And that is something I could support.

I was delighted to read that it is sold not at some specialty store but in one of my favorite places to shop, the hypermarket Carrefour. After further correspondence, I was offered a Carrefour gift card to make the purchase. Well, that was a kind offer but if I am going to give you, my readers, my honest impression of the beef, I decided that I needed to buy it myself. After all, we’ve got to eat dinner too, right? When I declined the gift card personally, I asked if I could have it to give away to my Dubai readers and my request was granted. So off I went to buy some beef!

The Carrefour nearest my house (Mirdiff City Centre) had a small selection. Just some topside steak and a few ribeyes, both quite thinly cut. I spoke to the butcher who was very helpful and he pulled a whole enormous piece of meat out of the refrigerator in the back and accommodatingly cut me two thicker steaks of the topside. Together the steaks weighed about 500g or a little over one pound in weight and cost Dhs. 36 or about US$10. That’s five dollars a steak.  For those of you not in Dubai, that’s extremely reasonable for here, especially for organic free-range beef. So the price was good, but would it be tasty?

Now, almost any meat is good in a stew where you can cook it until it’s tender. For me the best test is to season it lightly and grill it, either over some hot coals or on a cast iron grill pan. So I sprinkled the steaks with a little white vinegar, which is my way with beef, and some sea salt flakes and black pepper. And I cooked them till medium rare and sliced them thinly. The verdict: Tasty and tender.

I now have in my hot little hands a Carrefour gift card worth Dhs. 100 that I would like to share with my Dubai readers, courtesy of OBE Organic Australia.   Please leave me a comment on this post saying what area of Dubai you live in and what you would make with OBE beef if you won the gift card, and I will use a randomizer to choose a winner two weeks from now on Thursday, 17 October.  Be sure to sign in using a valid email (will not be published) so I can contact you when you win.

If you’d like to go give us both a Like on Facebook, it would be much appreciated.  Click on these links.

                  OBE Organic Australia                   Food Lust People Love  

To learn more about OBE Organic Australia, head on over to their website.

Just FYI, there is a bigger selection of OBE beef at the Carrefour at Mall of the Emirates and perhaps I just caught Mirdiff on an off day.  But if you don’t see what you want, be sure to ask the helpful butchers. All of their beef is also halal.

For the rest of you worldwide, my apologies about the gift card but I do have a simple but delicious recipe to share and I hope you will forgive me.

Beef Steak Salad with Orange Vinaigrette - Click here to print

Ingredients to serve two
2 topside steaks – approximately 500g or 17 oz
2 Mandarin oranges
1/2 small purple onion
1/8 cup or 30ml red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup or 30ml olive oil
4 oz or 100g packet arugula or rocket  (This doesn’t sound like much by weight but it’s a good size package of leaves!)

Season your meat by sprinkling it lightly with white vinegar, sea salt flakes and black pepper.

(I have a specific vinegar bottle for these occasions, with a couple of slits poked in the plastic lid.
The lid with holes
Use a knife or ice pick to make a sprinkler of yours, but do be careful.)  Cover with cling film and set aside for at least half an hour.  This allows the meat to lose the worse of the chill, if not to come to room temperature.

Meanwhile slice your onion very thinly.  Peel the oranges and cut the hard center off of each peg.  Remove the seeds.  Cut the orange pegs into two pieces.

Pile the onions and cut oranges into a small bowl and add about a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt flakes and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.  Add the vinegar and olive oil.  Mix and set aside.  The juice of the oranges will make this into a beautifully fresh dressing.

Rinse your greens thoroughly and dry in a salad spinner.  If you don’t own a salad spinner, put them in a clean dish towel and pull all the ends together.  Go outside and swing your arm around and around until the water stops flying out.  Sure, the neighbors might look at you funny, but you are going to have steak for dinner. Forget them!

When you are about ready to eat, turn on your vent hood extraction fan, because cooking the steak can get smoky.   Heat your griddle pan till very hot and cook the steaks on high for about three minutes and then turn them over.

Cook for another three minutes then turn them back to the first side for another minute, but change the angle to create the grid pattern.

Now turn them again for the last minute.  If you are keeping track, this adds up to about four minutes a side and is going to give you medium rare to rare steak.  Add a minute or two to each side total for medium. You really don’t want to cook this any more than that or it will probably get tough. Nothing to do with the OBE beef but everything to do with topside. This is not the most tender cut but that’s why I chose it. More valid test!

Remove from the heat and allow to rest for about five minutes.

To serve, slice the beef very thinly and pile on top of your salad greens.  Or arrange them very nicely.  Your choice.  Drizzle your vinaigrette all around on the greens and then add the oranges and onions.  Put salt and pepper on the table in case anyone wants to add just a little more.

Top photo is more casual and this one is arranged fancy.  Either one is delicious! 



  1. Love what you did with the gift card!! Lovely recipe, too! :-)

  2. Thanks, Betsy! It seemed like the right thing to do.

  3. I live in Jumeirah Islands. I would make Steak au Poivre with truffle frites :-). I also will be trying your recipe - sounds great!

  4. Thanks, Dianna! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Asian beef noodle salad is one of my favorites too.

  5. I can't even tell you how badly I want to eat this salad. And it's 7:25 am here.

  6. I live in Jumeirah Park. I would make a beef salad with blue cheese dressing, siriachi sauce and veggies. Your salad looks yummy also!!

  7. So great that you could get such high quality meat! I love the idea of pairing it with some orange flavor...sounds like such a nice combo!

  8. Love me some blue cheese dressing, Susan! That sounds wonderful!

  9. I know, right?! I like to think of the cattle roaming the plains. Happy cows make good beef. Fruit in salads is my new thing, since this summer when my younger daughter introduced me to fancy salads. According to her, they must have greens, special cheese, fruit and sometimes nuts.

  10. A good home cooked steak is something that I have yet to achieve. I always fail in choosing a good beef it always end up rubbery thus we always have beef stew.
    I live in Al Qusais.

  11. Hi Stacy! Great idea for the gift card. I live in the Meadows. We love a simple steak on the grill. As I always seem to have difficulty finding a steak that "tastes like home," this is what I would make for my family. Served with sautéed mushrooms, a baked russet potato and a dollop of sour cream, and oven roasted brussel sprouts hand tossed in EVOO with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt. For the adults, a balloon goblet of the best red "grape" in the house would sit alongside the plate. Bon appetit!

  12. I just Love the article and recipe Will feature you soon :)

  13. I think the secret is not to overcook, Abigail, especially with a cut like topside. You either have to cook it medium rare or cook the heck out of it, like in a stew. Ribeye steak is more forgiving because of the marbling of fat but it is also still tastier with pink inside.

  14. Hi, Kim! Your whole meal sounds wonderful! I started oven-roasting my Brussels a couple of years back and now hardly ever eat them any other way. They are just the best! Try grating on some garlic along with your sprinkling of sea salt. Yum! Can I come join you? I'll even bring the grape.

  15. Thank you! It would be much appreciated!


    Stacy Thank you for contacting us!

  17. Your post is a hash of my own words. Please delete it immediately. This is unacceptable as is the theft of the two photos from websites in Jakarta and Hong Kong.

  18. Gee.... my hubby would love this yummy beef steak.

  19. Citrus and beef - there really isn't a better combination. I'm loving on this salad

  20. Hey Stacy, your salad looks delicious! I shall have to try it. I think the best way to cook a good quality organically produced steak has got to be most simply on a griddle plate with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Accompanied by some fresh tasty oven roasted tomatoes, garlic and rosemary roasted new potatoes and some gorgeous grilled asparagus. Double, triple YUM! I live in Mirdif. X

  21. I know it's not easy to find good grass fed beef in Malaysia but use the best you can find!

  22. It's one of my new favorite things too, Toby. Thank you!

  23. I love your meal, Sabrina! Garlic and rosemary are my favorite additions to roast potatoes but I've never thought to add tomatoes as well. I need to give that a try next time.

  24. This looks incredible! I love oranges and steak and steak salad - I am SO going to try this!

  25. Some times the simplest things are the most delicious, Kelli. This qualifies. Thank you!

  26. Animals that are not ruminants need to be supplemented with grain. Cattle have the ability to receive all of the nutrients that they need from grass and do not need grain at all. Enjoy grass fed beef only as this is the worth enough to give you all.


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